Residents shocked that Haitian fugitive was their neighbour
Residents of Warminster, a laid back St Elizabeth community, have distanced themselves from John Joel Joseph, a former opposition senator of Haiti who was arrested by cops at a house there last Saturday.
Joseph is a key suspect in the assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moise, who was shot dead at his home by gunmen on July 7 in the Haitian capital, Port au-Prince. His wife was also shot and injured. Earlier this month, another suspect Mario Palacios, was deported to his native Colombia after he was arrested in Jamaica last October. Both Joseph and Palacios are suspected of entering Jamaica illegally.
A resident who lives a short distance away from where Joseph was captured said he was extremely curious when he saw police swarming the area. Curious, he asked one of the cops what the operation was about.
"Him say to mi say is an Haitian person dem looking for and if mi know if so and so live here and mi say not of my knowledge. Him say him understand say him live deh for about three months and mi tell him say dat information could never right because the lady whe did live inna di house bury three weeks ago and she dead in November," he said.
The resident said that another relative had lived at the house after she died but had moved out shortly after. He also said that the home had no water.
"The Haitian man could a deh Jamaica fi three months but not right yah so," he said. He, however, stated that last Friday a child had told him that he had seen some boxes at the entrance of the lane that leads to the home but thought they belonged to his neighbour.
"A di Saturday now somebody come to mi and a ask mi if mi couldn't tell har about the operation the night before. She say she hear say police come because dem a look fi man from Haiti," he said. The resident said that was when he recalled that on Friday night, he saw a probing light shine into his home.
"Mi peep out and see four vehicle and mi see dem a go dung behind one another," he added. He also recalled seeing two children, a man and a woman on Friday evening. But he added that he could see their faces clearly.
THE STAR team took on the journey up the steep and rocky path that led to the dwelling where the alleged assassin was living incognito. One of the doors was wide open while the other was 'secured' with a clothes hanger. Inside a mosquito infested room were piles of clothing, some of which were strewn on the floor. An English Bible and several other books that were written in French laid on the floor and there were candles in one corner. In the other room, various items of food were also observed along with sheets of handwritten notes. Several empty liquor bottles could be seen on the outside along with a freshly picked hand of ripe plantains. A freshly painted and constructed grave was also noticeable to the side of the house.
Another resident stated that the dwelling was the perfect hideout spot for the fugitive as it was in a remote location.
"Di house empty and hard fi find so something must go wrong. None a we never know what a gwan but a afterward we a hear like a US$12,0000 the man pay fi come a Jamaica but mi wouldn't even take so much. Him could a give me a $5,000 and mi would keep him safe. Not even road him couldn't go. A must somebody who help him go deh inform," the resident said.